“In Time” was written, produced & directed by Andrew Niccol who also wrote & directed 2005’s “Lord of War” & 2004’s “The Terminal”. The film stars Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Matt Boomer, Vincent Kartheiser, Johnny Galecki & Alex Pettyfer. The film’s original title was “I’m Mortal” before it was changed.
In the year 2169, time has become the world’s currency. After a human has lived for 25 years, a year countdown place on their right arm begins. The world is divided into Time Zones. A poor ghetto in Dayton, Ohio is the poorest where most people only have 24 hours on their clock. Will Silas (Timberlake) comes into a bar with his friend Borel (Galecki) where everyone is having a good as a man with a century on his clock is buying drinks for everyone. This man is a well known business man, Henry Hamilton (Boomer). Things take a dark turn when Fortis (Pettyfer) & his gang arrive. They’re known as Minutemen, people “fight” for time or just flat out steal it. Will steps in and saves Hamilton. They escape and after a heart to heart conversation, Hamilton gives all his time to Will before “timing out”. After finding Hamilton’s body, Raymond Leon (Murphy), a cop-like figure known as “The Timekeeper”, assumes Will is a murder suspect & begins to hunts him down. With all this new time, Will has a plan to take his mother, Rachel (Wilde), to New Greenwich, a high class living area. However, on the way to meet Will, Rachel is stunned to learn that the bus she usually takes home has raised their costs. With her time running out, Rachel attempts to run. She manages to find Will but dies in his arms just as he catches her right arm to transfer time. Will then heads for New Greenwich alone. While at the casinos, he meets Phillipe Weis, a very weathly & powerful man who owns all the Time Lenders in the state. After Will beats him in poker, Leon arrives to arrest him. Will manages to escape & take Weis’ daughter, Silva (Seyfried) hostage. They end up back in Dayton where Will comes up with a plan to steal time & saves the less fortunate. Will & Silvia becomes fugitives & begin robbing time banks as well as Weis’ properties. They stay on the run from both Leon & the Timekeepers and also Fortis & the Minutemen to destroy the entire time sharing systems.
The concept for this movie alone was very impressive. The film does follow the cliche crime thriller formula but does have solid performances from the 2 leads who also have a great deal of chemistry. Now it does have similarities to Will Smith’s film “I, Robot” but is a far better concept than that film. Timberlake had just come off his phenomenal performance in the previous year’s film, “The Social Network”, and here he really goes all in for a much dark story. Seyfried is a talented actress and holds her own along side Timberlake. Murphy’s performance is solid but comes across a bit stiff. He is the cold and calculated hunter much like, The Rock’s Luke Hobbs in the “Fast & Furious” franchise but much less over the top & not as charismatic but still solid for this particular story.
Overall, this was vastly different type of thriller than anything we have seen since probably the original “Blade Runner” with this type of layout. Despite the film’s mediocre success, it came under heavy fire as the film was slapped with a copyright lawsuit from Harlan Ellison who claimed that the film ripped off his 1965 short story, “Repent Harlequin! Said The Ticktock Man”. While the suit was later dropped, the film didn’t receive any type of alleged copyright issues. Timberlake went on to star in other smaller films like “Trouble With Curve” with Clint Eastwood & Amy Adams and “Runner Runner” with Ben Afleck & Gemma Arterton. Seyfried was also continue in other films such as “Pan”, “Gone” & “Lovelace”. She also appear in a few musicals such as “Les Miserables” & the 2008 musical, “Mamma Mia!” & its 2018 sequel. Andrew Niccol would go on to write & direct 2013’s “The Host”, 2014’s “Good Kill” & 2018’s “Anon” which also starred Seyfried.